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Latest On Coronavirus: Fourth Floridian Dies, Museums Closing, And More Updates

Mar 14, 2020

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

70 – Florida Residents | 6 – Florida Cases Repatriated* | 7 – Non-Florida Residents

A fourth Floridian has died as a result of coronavirus.

In a release, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the fourth death was a 77-year-old man in Lee County.

It was not a travel-related death, according to the Florida Department of Health. [Read more]

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Positive Cases In Florida Spike Overnight

The state Department of Health early Saturday reported 25 more cases of the coronavirus, with most of the patients in South Florida. Manatee County reported two new cases, while a third Floridian has died from the disease.

Broward County had nine of the new cases, while six were in Miami-Dade County and three were in Palm Beach County.

In the Tampa Bay area, Manatee County added two cases. One, a 67-year-old woman whose case is associated with domestic travel, is being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The other is a 62-year-old woman whose case is not travel related. She has been placed in isolation.

Check out the map below to see the cases across Florida. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Museums, Florida Aquarium Closing As A Precaution

Several Tampa museums and attractions will be closed through next weekend in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a release, the following sites will be closed to the public:

  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Tampa Museum of Art
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Henry B. Plant Museum
  • Florida Aquarium

According to the release, the locations have had no known contact with COVID-19, and they voluntarily decided to close out of caution. [Read more]

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Toilet paper was gone from the shelves at the Publix on South Dale Mabry and West Neptune Street in South Tampa earlier this week.
Credit WUSF Public Media

Publix Adjusting Its Store Hours

Publix is shortening its store hours to give employees time to restock shelves and clean its locations.

In a news release, Publix announced it will begin closing its stores and pharmacies at 8 p.m., effective Saturday.

The store hours will remain intact until further notice, according to the release.

In addition to hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other products have been in short supply as customers stock up for coronavirus preparations.

-- Carl Lisciandrello

How Hillsborough, Pinellas Are Respond To Coronavirus Closures

While Hillsborough and Pinellas County joined the rest of the state in closing public schools through March 27, the Tampa Bay area’s two most populous counties took other different measures Friday in response to the coronavirus. [Read more]

-- Angela Cordoba Perez, Mark Schreiner

Coronavirus Closes Schools Statewide

The coronavirus outbreak has led the Florida Department of Education to close all public schools across the state through March 27.

“Keeping students healthy and safe is my number one priority, and that is why we are recommending that districts follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for Florida,” Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Friday afternoon.

Schools that are not on spring break at that time are scheduled to reopen on March 30. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Your Turn: Unable To Visit Loved Ones During Coronavirus Outbreak?

Florida’s governor signed an order preventing some people from visiting nursing homes to stop the spread of coronavirus to vulnerable populations. Is it stopping you from visiting a loved one? We want to hear from you. Fill out the form below and we may contact you for a future story. [Contact us]

-- Carl Lisciandrello